Vendici Properties Spotlight: Essência Bakery

Food & Drink Hot List Lifestyle
The Vendici Properties team are experts on Portugal's Golden Triangle area with a hyper-local focus on Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo. They also love to explore their local communities and support the small businesses that add so much to the quality lifestyle people enjoy in the Algarve.

The team regularly blogs about some of the great experiences they have enjoyed at local venues - from café and restaurants to florists and services. One of their favourites is Essência Bakery in Loulé - an artisanal bakery where everything is made with love.

Vendici Properties is know as for being a hard-working, customer-focused real estate agency, using innovative marketing and technology such as 3D to help obtain positive outcomes for their clients.

This week, I visited Essencia Bakery in Loulé. José, the friendly owner and baker, greeted me warmly and shared that he opened his doors in February.

He’s been a professional chef for a long time, but Covid prompted him to re-think his career path. He discovered a passion for baking bread and pastries. Although he had plenty of experience cooking, José says that baking is different. He studied and strived to perfect his skills. After some time of baking in his wood oven at home, he met a flour supplier who provides milling stone flour. At that point he knew he’d found the partner who could enable him to make great artisanal bread.

Artisanal baking is very different from traditional baking. It employs natural, unmodified flour, requires a long fermentation time of at least 12 hours, and takes skill to master. José uses a fermentation time of over 24 hours. He gives care throughout the process to make sure they proof successfully. Waking each day at 3 am to go to his bakery, turn on the ovens, and begin baking; ready to open at 8 am. The hard work pays off! His bread and pastries are full of flavour with a cream-like texture unmatched by typical baked goods.

José has gradually built his business over 2 years and continues to strive forward. He began by delivering bread door to door until he was able to open his shop. Now he provides bread and pastries for some popular restaurants. He also accepts orders, or people can buy what’s in stock on the day. On Saturdays, you’ll find the greatest variety of baked goods.

José is a big advocate for supporting local. He gave a shoutout to other businesses including bakeries such as All Things Baker (Lagos), Mr Portuguese Bakery (Tavira), Kubidoce (Olhão).

Bread has been an important part of Portuguese culture and gastronomy, José asserts ‘It’s not a Portuguese table if you don’t have bread on it”. - Very true!
He appreciates how artisanal bread can evoke childhood memories of grandmothers baking and storing bread in dark rooms. Plus he believes in the importance of good food: “Just like meat or fish, we need to eat the best, real, healthy food, and feel the flavours.”

Open Tuesday - Saturday and definitely worth a visit!
Follow Essência Bakery on Instagram.
See the original article by Vendici here.